Friday, July 31, 2015

IMD MBA Event in Tokyo on August 27, 2015

It was recently brought to my attention that the IMD will be hosting a Discovery Event in Tokyo on August 27, 2015. Registration and more information can be found here.

John Couke

Monday, July 27, 2015

Research MBA Programs using my Links

MBA applicants need to thoroughly research all programs to which they tend to apply so that they can, in the essay and interview, give specific examples that show the strong fit they feel with each program. Demonstrating fit with a given program is important to getting that all-important offer. You can read more about fit here, but the purpose of this posting is to give you some resources that will kick-start your school research.

I have been collecting articles on MBA programs (as well as LLM and other grad programs) for years, and when I come across a resource I find interesting I bookmark it using This website has undergone some transformations over the years but remains at its essence a useful social bookmarking resource.

As you begin (or continue) researching schools, I encourage you to put my social bookmarks to good use. They're searchable, and using the right keywords will help you get to what you are looking for quickly.

The starting page of my bookmarks can be found here.
Here is the listing of all sites tagged "MBA".

You can also combine keywords to refine your search. Here are two examples:

A search of my bookmarks for "MBA", Harvard", "admissions" and "interview" is here. Substitute in Harvard for another school and you'll get links related to their interviews as well. Replace interview with essay and you'll get links related to that.

A search for "MBA" "admissions" and "recommendation letters" will take you here.

I encourage you to look around and see what useful information you can dig up on any program to which you are applying.

John Couke

Friday, July 3, 2015

Interview with a current MBA student at UCSD Rady

I am pleased to offer the following interview with a current student at the UCSD Rady School of Management.

1. After you were admitted, looking back on the way you prepared for the MBA in the spring and summer, is there anything you would change? Anything you would have done more of or less of?

Since I was admitted in June, I did not have the time to prepare myself for the program. However, if I had, I would have start reading some finance related books as it is my concentration in the program.

2. What's a typical day in the life of an MBA student in your program?

I have been doing an internship since November, so I work part-time normally in the morning. Then I go to the student lounge and study, and attend the class. Between the classes we occasionally have group meetings.

3. Can you write a bit about a course that you would recommend future students take?

We just finished taking most of the core classes, and all the students have to take these classes. I have only taken two electives so far, and I really enjoyed both of them: Investments and Advanced Communication.

4. Have you had the time to get involved in any extra-curricular activities? If so, what ones and what are you doing in them?

Yes, I have been taking ballet classes on campus. In terms of school related activities, I have been selected as a Student Ambassador and am the VP of Finance in our Life Science Club.

5. What have your experiences been like in learning/project teams? 

The experience varies depending on the team. I have been very lucky in that my teammates are co-operative and we are good friends outside the class. But I was on one particular team where two of the other members did not feel comfortable communicating in English. It was a relatively hard experience because they struggled to explain what they wanted to say and hesitated to give more in-depth details about some conclusions.

6. Can you share your plans for the summer?

I will continue my internship that I have been doing since last November. At the same time, I might enroll in accounting or CFA classes.

7. Looking back, what has been most surprising to you about your MBA life, compared to your original expectations before you enrolled?

The MBA life started off much tougher than I had expected. Especially because I had to start my summer internship search from the fall quarter, everyday passed by very quickly and there was not enough time to do everything I wanted to do each day. Thus, time management and appropriate prioritization are definitely the keys for going through the program successfully. Needless to say, networking is very important, and so it is highly effective to target what sort of professionals and communities you are trying to get connected to right away.

Thanks for taking time out of the busy program to respond to my questions! 

John Couke